Saturday, January 13, 2007


Some comments on the current state of DVDs.

We recently joined the Columbia House DVD club to get some classics. One of those obtained was THE GOONIES, one of our favorite movies ever.

I watched the DVD commentary the other night. It had the entire cast from the original movie and director Richard Donner watching and commenting on the show. No matter how cool this sounds to a fan of the movie, unfortunately, that is just way too many people to comment on the movie. That was, what, eight people all trying to talk at once, especially over Corey Feldman trying to talk all the bloody time. Commentary is going to have to be limited to probably two people at most. While I laughed a bit and heard some good snippets and new stories, so many times I wanted to tell them all to be quiet in order to let one person speak at a time.

One little itty bitty pet peeve--the menu systems. First of all, I wish they would make the cursor buttons on my remote control bigger. These controls, I swear, must be made for Lilliputian fingers. My thumb presses two buttons a ton of the time. Also, no matter how detailed the menu screen is, I wish that the cursor would shine brighter and be more specifically legible on what exactly was highlighted. How many times have I pressed a button thinking I had one highlighted when it was on another selection? Tons. Also, I don't know about other DVD players out there, but the three we have in our household do not have any other buttons besides the rudimentary play options. There are no cursor buttons on the DVD player itself. When we misplace a remote control, and we do in this household of four with two kids, there is no way to access special features or any other selection. We had bought the DVD for X-Men 3, primarily for the alternate endings, and for over a month we couldn't watch them due to missing remotes. No way to access them from the player itself. And why don't these players have built-in remote finders? What's that technology cost them, 12 cents? No, they would rather us lose the remotes to make us buy new players, tell the truth.

I am just sick of the FBI warning menus. Absolutely ill from them. This especially chaps my hide when I am putting in one of Madison's DVDs. I have to wait through these in order to just press play. I wish, I really wish, that I could sign some kind of disclaimer that I understand this warning in order to never see that damn red screen again. I know this is not long and I should stop bitching but it just irks me to no end.

I have been watching the DVDs lately with the subtitles too. I am renting the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the second season of Battlestar Galactica through Netflix. Most of the time when I sit to watch these, I am the only one in the house who does. Either there is noise in the other rooms, the girls playing, or it is late enough and most are trying to go to bed for the evening. This way, either way, I'm not missing anything. I tried to watch one of the Alfred Hitchcock interview extras that came with my Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection which was my Christmas gift and since there were no subtitles, I couldn't hear a darn thing in the house. It wasn't the girls' fault; they were just playing Barbies. But I had to stop and watch it later. So I have been liking the subtitles but then it makes me watch differently, a lot of reading instead of watching, and then when I watch TV it feels sort of naked without the subtitles.

I love a lot of the extras, especially on those discs that are the favorite movies. My 1978 Superman DVD has casting calls, featuring other actresses that read for the part of Lois Lane, and I really think after watching it that Donner was wrong in picking Margot Kidder over Stockard Channing. Stockard Channing would have made a PERFECT Lois Lane by watching the casting call, if you ask me. I always disliked Margot Kidder. So that is one heck of a spectacular bonus for a fan like me. Also, I love the outtakes when they have them. The Goonies DVD has scenes they removed, and you can see why. Some are cumbersome and don't enhance the plot and actually feel to detract from the movie (or maybe it is because I have seen the movie 50+ times, no kidding, and am really unused to the idea of new stuff). Others are just ridiculous. I am so glad they took away the octopus scene near the end. It was stupid and silly, with a horrible looking and cheesy monster, especially when Data removes the threat of the octopus by placing a tape recorder playing a song into the beak of the monster, and the monster goes moonwalking and dancing off. Stuff like this helps see the process of moviemaking even more and am grateful for these bits of trivia.

Enough caterwauling.

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